Mars and Venus, Allegory of Peace (Mars et Vénus, allégorie sur la Paix)

Object Details

Title:

Mars and Venus, Allegory of Peace (Mars et Vénus, allégorie sur la Paix)

Artist/Maker:

Louis Jean François Lagrenée (French, 1725 - 1805)

Culture:

French

Place:

France (Place created)

Date:

1770

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

64.8 × 53.8 cm (25 1/2 × 21 3/16 in.)

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In this gentle allegory of peace by Louis Jean François Lagrenée, Mars, the Roman god of War, throws back the rich green bed curtains that frame the scene. As the drapery parts, the morning light spills in to reveal the form of the sleeping Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Mars gazes at her, utterly captivated by her beauty. Her love has tempered his fierce character, and his shield and sword lie abandoned on the floor. Echoing the lovers' bliss, a pair of white doves, symbolizing Peace, build a nest in Mars's helmet.

Lagrenée created his finest works, including this small, jewel-like painting, around 1770. The lavish folds of drapery, the delicate play of light over fabric and skin, and the rich, restrained palette combine to create a captivatingly beautiful image.

Provenance
1770 - 1774

Vicomte Adolphe du Barry, died 1778 (Paris, France) [sold, Barry sale, Rémy, Lebrun, Paris, November 21, 1774, lot 100, to Louis-François-Jacques Boileau], purchased from the artist, 1770.

1774 -

Louis-François-Jacques Boileau

about 1774 - 1776

Louis-François de Bourbon, prince de Conti, 1717 - 1776 (Paris, France), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1776 - 1777

Estate of Louis-François de Bourbon, prince de Conti, 1717 - 1776 [sold, Bourbon sale, Rémy, Paris, April 8 to May 6, 1777, lot 774.]

possibly 1777 - 1812

Claude-Joseph Clos, died 1813 [sold, Clos sale, Poultier et Masson, Paris, November 18, 1812, lot 20, to Louis-François-Jacques Boileau.]

1812 -

Louis-François-Jacques Boileau

- 1870

Maillet du Boulay [sold, Maillet du Boulay sale, Pillet, Paris, January 22, 1870, lot 8.]

1870 - 1875

M. Maulaz [sold, Maulaz sale, Pillet, Paris, November 29 to December 1, 1875, lot 46.]

- 1997

Private Collection (Paris, France), sold through Marc Blondeau (Paris, France) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997.

Exhibitions
Louis Style: French Frames from Louis XIII to Louis XVI, 1610-1792 (September 15, 2015 to January 3, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 15, 2015 to January 3, 2016
Behind the Curtain: Concealment and Revelation since the Renaissance (October 1, 2016 to January 22, 2017)
  • Museum Kunst Palast (Düsseldorf), October 1, 2016 to January 22, 2017
Bibliography

Livret du Salon (Paris: 1771; repr. Nogent Le Roi: J. Laget, 1990) p. 12, no. 11.

Dacier, Emile. Catalogues de ventes et livrets de Salons illustrés par Gabriel de Saint-Aubin. 4 vols. (Paris: 1774; repr. Paris: Siège de la Société, 1910; repr. Paris: Nogent le Roi, 1991) vol. 3, Catalogue de la Vente A Du Barry, p. 40, no. 100.

Rémy, Le Brun, Paris. Catalogue de tableaux originaux des bons maitres [...] composent le cabinet de M.L.C. de D. November 21, 1774 p. 40, lot 100.

Goncourt, Edmond de. "État des tableaux faits par Monsieur Lagrenée depuis son retour de Rome." L'Art 11 (1877) p. 236, no. 187.

Sandoz, Marc. "The Drawings of Louis Jean François Lagrenée: Notes for a Tentative Catalogue Raisonné." The Art Quarterly 26, no. 1 (Spring 1963) pp. 55, 67n42-43.

Seznec, Jean, ed. Diderot Salons, Volume IV: 1769, 1771, 1775, 1781 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967) p. 130, no. 11; p. 131, under no. 21; p. 169, no. 11.

Bukdahl, Else Marie. Diderot, critique d'art. 2 vols. (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde et Bagger, 1980) pp. 95, 266, no. 84; pp. 385, 394, no. 136.

Sandoz, Marc. Les Lagrenée. Vol. 1, Louis, Jean, François Lagrenée 1725-1805 (Paris: Éditart-Les Quatre Chemins, 1983) pp. 227, 366, no. 215, pl. 39.